The cookbook is here!

Last year I was approached by Clare Richards of Tropical Cuisine – Cooking in Clare’s Kitchen to do the photography for her cookbook.  I was in Cairns after photographing the opening night of Salt House so we met for a coffee to discuss to project.

I loved the idea – then spent hours and hours with Clare in markets, in tropical orchards, halfway up mountains because she knew where something special was growing, in a Vietnamese friend’s backyard because they were growing an amazing herb…  But mainly, in Clare’s kitchen.

Tropical Cuisine – Cooking in Clare’s Kitchen is more than just a cookbook.  It’s also the first-of-it’s-kind, reference book with a full glossary of all the wonderful produce we have in the tropics – how to use it, how to store it and of course it’s full of over 250 fabulous recipes!

It’s a beautiful hard cover book with lots of photographs of Clare’s great recipes which as well as being delicious are also really easy to follow.

The forward is written by Stephanie Alexander, who says, “This excellent book fills a significant gap in the reference shelves of any cook living in Australia’s tropical or even sub-tropical climes…     ..The photographs by Alison George are close-up and bold and wherever possible the ‘hero’ ingredient is easy to see.”

Clare starts with spices and sauces, sweet and savoury, chutneys, curry paste and mustards and goes from there.


(Papaya soup – this recipe is to die for)

The coffee table book also has images of the local area.

It has soups and snacks and light food..

(Rare beef salad w soba noodles)

(Jackfruit seeds & chilli paprika salt, macadamias pan roasted w lime, peanuts & ikan bilis, mango w kecap manis – and an icy beer to go w these delicious snacks)

(Local painted crayfish with coconut & lime sauce)

(Black sapotes)

(Mangosteens @ the market)

(Sweet potato & tropical fruit salad)

(3 salsas)

(Lychees on the tree)

(Bowl of mangoes)

There are chapters on seafood, poultry, meat, vegetables and drinks…

(Gin gin w/ prawn cocktail)

(Barbecued baharat prawns)

(Honey soy chicken wings)

(Barbecue sauce on pork spare ribs)

(Barbecued squid w sichuan salt)

Did you know you can make a fabulous gravy from black sapotes?

(Roo burger w homemade hamburger bun)

(Barbecued corn)

(Stuffed bitter melon)

(Duck & lychee salad)

(Rare beef salad w raosted garlic paste)

(Tea smoked tuna on wild pepper leaves)

(Mud crab in ginger glaze)

(Prawn & tarragon risotto)

(Snapper pies)

(Aromatic goat stew)

(Mangoes on the tree)


And the desserts…

(Mamey sapote cakes)

(Spiced plantain compote w coconut milk & pecans)

(Peanut biscuits)

(Passion fruit butter on family chocolate cake)

(Frangipani tarts)

(Black sapote tart)

(Family chocolate cake)

(Home-made ice creams; classic vanilla, beetroot, star anise,  & black sapote (my fave))

(Black sapote chocolate mousse)

(Davidson’s Plum custard pie)

Of course the fully comprehensive glossary in the back lets you know everything about the produce – why it’s good, how to choose it, how to store it, which flavours to match it with and recipes to use it in.

(Pitaya – aka red dragonfruit)


(Banana flower)

Hungry yet?

Buy a book online here, or the Cairns launch is Friday 26th November @ Tanks Art Centre.  See you there.  Clare will be there signing books as well as at the Tanks market on Sunday 28th Nov and the Port Douglas markets Sunday December 5th.


  1. Kassia Grier says:

    Alicat…What beautiful work! I can’t wait to buy the book and taste all the yummy goodness the Far North has to offer. Much love…Kass x

  2. Amanda says:

    So sad I missed your speech at the launch. Now I have the book I just need your autograph and a chef to cook for me. Outstanding, I’m so proud of you. Love, love Amanda

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